Most people take the normal, everyday activities like eating and speaking for granted. However, these simple tasks can prove quite challenging in the event you have prematurely lost one or more of your adult teeth due to periodontal disease, decay, or an accident. Luckily, in today’s day and age, it is a relatively easy process to replace missing teeth with either partial or full denture that usually consist of some combination of plastic, porcelain, and acrylic. Partial dentures are used for one or two teeth, whereas any complete or full dentures are better when all of your natural teeth are missing in your upper or lower jaw.
The Advantages of Modern Dentures
There are many benefits to dentures, the most obvious being that they give you a radiant, confident smile. There is little question that a smile that is no longer as appealing as it once was can negatively impact your self-image and create embarrassing moments in social occasions. Anyone who has, for whatever reason, lost one or more of their adult teeth does not have to go through life feeling self-conscious every time they smile.
However, from a medical standpoint, the aesthetics of missing teeth is not the most significant problem. Other issues of far greater concern, which one can avoid with a well-fitting set of dentures, are bone loss and crooked teeth.
Tooth loss in adults almost always leads to bone loss. To maintain density, all bone needs stimulation. In the case of the bones in the jaw, stimulation is due to the constant movement of teeth. When teeth are missing, the jaw begins to deteriorate and become smaller. Depending on the number of missing teeth, the structure of the face can actually collapse, thus altering one’s appearance and making one look much older than his or her actual age. Dentures support sagging facial muscles and structures, which can add years to the appearance.
Teeth are not fixed quite as solidly in our jaw as we might think. When natural teeth are missing, the surrounding teeth lose some of their support, which is why the pressure of chewing can cause them to shift or lean toward the gap. This can cause a number of other problems, such as excessive wear, problems with a patient’s bite. Since crooked teeth are harder to keep clean, there is a greater chance of them decaying. Pain in the jaw can also be an unwelcome side effect of shifting teeth.
If a patient has missing teeth, especially missing molars, chewing certain foods can cause a great deal of difficulty. This is especially true of harder foods like apples, nuts, and whole grain bread, all of which are exceedingly healthy. Softer foods are all too often highly processed and offer little nutritional value. A diet high in processed food will eventually lead to a compromised immune system.
Although many commonly perceive dentures to be only for the very old, this is far from the case. Many people lose one or more of their adult teeth, which may have been extracted due to dental problems or were knocked out by injury. Modern technology has improved dentures so much that they are far more comfortable and much more natural-looking than those worn by older generations. In fact, they look so much like natural teeth, other people can rarely tell if someone is wearing a denture.
Dentures are one of the most cost-effective treatment options when missing one or more natural teeth. There are other alternatives to dentures that more so resemble the feel and touch of real teeth, but they are far more expensive than dentures.
In summary, our McLean dental office can replace missing teeth with dentures that not only improve your appearance but positively impact your overall health.
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